Nearly every Republican in the U.S. Senate – except Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins – signed a letter stating that they would fight any effort to permit taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.

The Feb. 5 letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer affirms support of the federal Hyde Amendment, a longstanding policy in which Congress has agreed to severely limit the use taxpayer dollars to underwrite abortion. Since 1976 the amendment has enjoyed decades of bipartisan support, including from then-Senator Joe Biden. It has been signed into law by both Republican and Democrat presidents alike.

Each year, Hyde bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, except to save the life of the woman or if the pregnancy results from rape or incest. In recent years, however, support has waned among Democrats and pro-abortion Republicans, like Murkowski and Collins.

The letter observes that abortion is not health care but rather a “brutal procedure that destroys the life of an innocent unborn child.”

The 2016 Democratic Party platform marked the first time a major political party made a direct call to repeal the Hyde Amendment. In 2018, Murkowski and Collins were the only two Republicans to vote against the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would have made the Hyde Amendment permanent. Murkowski’s vote proved decisive as it failed 48-47.

Then, while running for president in 2019, Joe Biden abandoned his staunch, decades-long support of Hyde. He has now pledged to end the pro-life policy once and for all.

The letter from Senate Republicans, however, demonstrates that abolishing Hyde won’t come without a battle.

“We are deeply opposed to efforts to allow taxpayer funding of abortion on demand and eliminate this more than four-decade-old consensus,” the letter states. “Instead, we urge you to allow the Senate to continue its long tradition of bipartisan cooperation in enacting annual appropriations, as well as other health-related spending, with longstanding pro-life protections intact.”

The letter observes that abortion is not health care but rather a “brutal procedure that destroys the life of an innocent unborn child.”

It adds that the Hyde Amendment “reflects a consensus that millions of pro-life Americans who are profoundly opposed to abortion should not be coerced into paying for it or incentivizing it with their taxpayer dollars.” It also notes that a 2021 Marist poll found that nearly six in ten Americans, including even more than a third of those who identify as pro-choice, oppose the use of their taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions.

In addition to preserving the Hyde, the letter says it is “equally important that the Senate maintain all other longstanding pro-life protections in Federal law” including “prohibitions on funding for abortion and abortion coverage for the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as well as foreign aid.”

The letter also voices strong support for continuing to prevent the District of Columbia from funding elective abortions and prohibiting the destruction of human embryos in federally funded research.

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Murkowski won’t sign on with Senate Republicans to oppose taxpayer funded abortion on demand

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.